Rizzo: Bryce Harper Could Be Up To Stay

The Washington Nationals intended to have Bryce Harper spend at least a significant portion of the 2012 season in the minor leagues. His timetable was accelerated by injuries to Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman. Even so, when Harper was promoted, it looked like it would be a short-term promotion. It looked like he'd go back to the minors when Zimmerman came off the disabled list.

About that:

"We're not dumb, either," [general manager Mike] Rizzo said. "This guy is performing admirably in the big leagues. We feel he's got a chance to really impact the ball club. He's a special talent. So you have to throw ordinary development curves out the window if you have to. You have to be able to be light on your feet and utilize the assets that you have. If he is performing the way he's performing now, there's no way in hell I can get Davey Johnson to get rid of him."

I mean, through five games, Bryce Harper has batted .375 with four doubles. He's looked outstanding in the field as well. The Nationals were probably wondering how Harper would adjust to the majors, since his numbers in the minors were fairly unspectacular. He's ... he's had no problem adjusting, so far. What Rizzo said is obvious. Of course the Nationals can't demote a guy playing like Harper's playing. Even if this wasn't the plan, a good young player is a good young player.

It's a matter now of seeing whether Harper sustains his success. I don't mean the .375 batting average, because he's not sustaining a .375 batting average. But the way I'd interpret Rizzo's statement is that Harper will remain with the Nationals as long as he's making a solid, positive contribution. Seems perfectly sensible. Harper would put himself in line to make more money sooner down the road if he lasts, but a higher priority for the Nationals than future salaries is immediate success.

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